Following a CT (Computed Tomography) scan, additional testing may be required. The compassionate professionals of our Lung Screening Program assist patients who require additional testing. All diagnostic tests can be performed here at Mount Sinai, and making you feel comfortable is one of our top priorities.
Should you receive a diagnosis of lung cancer, our team of renowened surgeons, radiation oncologists, oncologists, psychologists, and other professionals will be with you every step of the way to offer you the most advanced surgical and clinical care in a supportive and caring environment.
Types of Additional Testing
Follow-up CT Scans
In most cases, the only additional test necessary is another low-dose CT scan, taken one to three months after the first scan. In some cases, when an infection is indicated, we may suggest that your physician prescribe antibiotics, as they are helpful in clearing up lung lesions caused by inflammation.
If your follow-up CT shows no growth, or if it shows a decrease in the finding, we will ask you to return in a year to confirm the stability of the lesion.
Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA)
If your lesion is growing, our staff will perform an FNA biopsy to determine the diagnosis. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia while you are lying in a CT scanner. Using the CT images as a guide, our radiologist locates the lesion and inserts a long, thin needle into it to obtain a sample of the cells, which are then examined by a pathologist. Most people can return home after this procedure.
In some cases, we may perform a bronchoscopy. We do this by inserting a thin tube with a miniature camera at the end through your mouth and into your lungs, which permits our physicians to look directly into your lungs for signs of malignancy. Sometimes we insert a needle through the tube to extract samples of the lesion or fluid.
Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
A minimally invasive procedure, EBUS is typically performed in combination with a bronchoscopy. It involves using an ultrasound probe to search for abnormal lung tissue, and then using a tiny needle to take a sample of the tissue.
This highly-detailed test of the cancerous tissue's make-up (including DNA mutations and protein levels) may be conducted, depending on your medical history and stage of the disease. This analysis can detect gene mutations, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which signals pathways associated with cell growth. The objective of molecular testing is to better target treatment therapies for patients with genetic alterations in their tumor.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
PET scans, along with the tests already listed, can assist our physicians in diagnosing lung cancer. PET scans are nuclear medicine tests which take 3-D pictures of the entire body using a tracer that you ingest. A PET scan can help to determine the extensiveness of the cancer.